Letters to the Editor: Stop the blanket media coverage of mass shootings. It may put lives at risk

Police tape is draped from a sign reading: Welcome to Geneva Presbyterian Church
Police tape blocks the entrance to Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, where one person was killed and five others were wounded in a shooting during a service Sunday.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist Frank Shyong wrote this about the recent shootings:

“After covering the aftermath of many mass shootings, I’m increasingly ambivalent about participating in this outcry for meaning. There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that the coverage and attention paid to mass shooters offers notoriety that motivates more shooters. And it just seems wrong to allow someone who shot a bunch of unsuspecting people to dictate public discourse.”

At long last, someone speaks the truth. Without the international storm of media coverage, the poring over the shooter’s crazed manifestos, the digging into their background and ideology, the burning of the shooter’s name into infamy, and the renewed public debate over the issues the shooter sought to raise, many of these people would never have committed the horrible acts in the first place.


And yet, the media cannot resist. There is always one side or the other rushing to capitalize on the shooting for political gain. There are ratings and clicks to be had. It seems naive to think that responsibility and society would ever come first ahead of those motives.

That leaves, us, the public to respond appropriately. Turn it off. Focus your time and energies on things where you can make a positive difference. Make the shooters fail to reach you with their agendas, ideologies and hate.

Chris Seiber, Newport Beach


To the editor: Stop using his name. Stop discussing his “manifesto.” You are now part of the problem.

You are telling these people that if they perform an act of terrorism, they will be given the attention that they want. This can easily be discussed in broader terms, but we do not need quotes from a particular terrorist.

You know better than this.

Jakob Daugherty, Guelph, Canada